Harrogate’s winter blunderland organisers go into liquidation

Yorkshires Magical Winterland in Harrogate. Pic Ross Parry
Yorkshires Magical Winterland in Harrogate. Pic Ross Parry

Parents could be left out of pocket after a Christmas event blasted as a ‘winter blunderland’ closed at the weekend.

Thousands of people bought advance tickets for the Yorkshire’s Magical Winterland at the Yorkshire Event Centre which shut down after three days.

Now the organisers, YMW, have gone into voluntary liquidation and appointed insolvency specialists, Walsh Taylor.

A spokesman said: “Walsh Taylor are currently reviewing the company records with a view to determining the creditors.”

Creative director Peter Snee told the Advertiser the company has employed more than 50 people from Harrogate and sold 15,000 advance tickets last month.

Negative reviews of the festive event hit national headlines after furious parents took to Facebook to mock the shoddy displays and complain about the event.

Organisers made efforts to reinvigorate the attraction on Friday (December 12), but the festive displays still failed to impress and closed a week ahead of schedule.

Now there are worries that people will be left out of pocket, despite organisers initially promising refunds on the event website.

Heather Parry, managing director of the Yorkshire Event Centre said the situation was ‘disapointing’ and urged ticket holders to contact their debit card or credit card providors.

She said: “Obviously we are quite disapointed, it was not our event. We tried to support them as best we could.

“This is the first time in 21 years this has happened and we hold over 50 succesful events a year.”

She added: “It is incredibly disapointing, we are very sorry the organisers couldn’t keep it together.”

Yorkshire’s Magical Winterland blamed ‘adverse publicity’ for the decision.

A statement from the organisers said: “We worked very hard to create a family event and have received some positive feedback but also some adverse publicity.”

Despite promising a winter walk, a Frozen singalong and a chance to feed Santa’s reindeer, excited families were faced with a desolate scene of disappointment after paying £20 per ticket.

Harrogate mum-of-one Becky Numm, 31, visited on Friday after the improvement attempts. She said: “I get the impression that the staff are being a bit more enthusiastic today to make up for how bad it is.

“I came thinking it would be great but my expectations were clearly too high.

“We won’t be coming back again, I think everyone looks a bit let down by the whole thing.

“The area is too big and they haven’t been able to fill it. It’s been advertised as a magical place to come and it just isn’t.

“However it has put a smile on my daughter’s face which is a relief given how much it has cost me.”